Tag Archives: Vegetables
Halloween Special: Mummies in your Garden

Halloween Special: Mummies in your Garden

Posted 31 October 2010 | By | Categories: Food, Gardening, Pest control, Plants, Vegetables | Comments Off on Halloween Special: Mummies in your Garden

Vivid tales of parasitic wasps eating mummified aphids from the inside out are but a part of this thought-provoking talk on plant protection using insects and the mass production of benevolent bugs.

A real horror story is that more than 90% of fruits and vegetables examined in NZFSA’s Food Residue Surveillance programme have pesticide residues. This method of natural pest control shown by Shimon Steinberg above could be a part of New Zealand’s strategy to reduce pesticide residues in our produce and soil.

Cavolo Nero Kale Chips

Cavolo Nero Kale Chips

Posted 24 August 2010 | By | Categories: Cooking, Food, Gardening, Make Things, Vegetables | Comments

My fabulous Aunt Jan introduced me to the addictively delicious treat known as kale chips Stateside in June, making them from a bunch of mature cavolo nero, and serving them up elegantly in a tall glass a la Dan Barber. Now that I’m back in a winter (almost spring!) garden filled with greens, I’m making them almost every other day.

I have been experimenting with all different types of kale, cabbage and greens, and they’re almost all good. Young cavolo nero, also known as lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, and dinosaur kale, is my favorite to use, but curly kale, red Russian kale, squire kale and even savoy cabbage leaves work well too. Mustard greens, not so much. But since they’re taking over the garden, we’ll figure out some great things to make with them by next week. (Your favorite mustard green recipe suggestions are very welcome!)

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Ingredients:
1 bunch cavolo nero, other kale and/or savoy cabbage leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

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Directions:

  • Wash the leaves and dry them well. To tear or not to tear? I prefer to leave the stems intact — with younger kale, the stems aren’t thick or tough, and they still get crispy and delicious.
  • Toss with olive oil and sea salt.
  • Preheat an oven to 180° C (350° F).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional, but makes for joyfully easy cleanup) and arrange the leaves in a single layer. You may need two baking sheets, depending on leaf size and number.
  • Bake until the edges are crisp but not burned, approximately 10 minutes.

Delicious variations:

  • toss in some apple cider vinegar with the olive oil and salt.
  • add cumin
  • add cayenne pepper
  • add curry powder
  • add finely grated parmesan (or other) cheese

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Enjoy them in a glass, on a plate, crumbled on some popcorn, in your mouth…

Remote Control Gardening

Remote Control Gardening

Posted 08 January 2010 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Remote Control Gardening

Le verdure del mio orto

I’ve been watching friends get sucked into FarmVille, a social online game that has them planting, plowing and harvesting and earning a little virtual coin. But what if those vegetables you planted in your browser were actually delivered weekly to your home? Le Verdure Del Mio Orto (‘The Vegetables from my Garden’) lets you build an organic garden from your web browser and offers weekly deliveries from ‘your farm’ in Northern Italy, between Milan and Turin. (Found via Springwise.)

Virtual gardeners first select a plot size according to how many people they’d like to feed: 30m2 is sufficient for 1–2 people and costs EUR 850 per year. Then you can select from 39 types of vegetables for your patch, with information on expected yields and harvest times displayed visually. Optional extras include herb, fruit, flower, and flavor (e.g. garlic, basil, chile peppers) beds, a photo album of the garden’s progress, organic compost, personalization, and even a scarecrow with an image of your face.

Now this is the kind of community supported agriculture I’d really love to support!

  • If you’re dreaming of growing Italian vegetables in your own garden, Franchi is a line of specialty seeds with gorgeous pomodori, melanzane, carciofi,cime di rapa and other marvelous things available at ItalianSeedsPronto.co.nz online in NZ, seedsofitaly.com in the UK and http://www.growitalian.com in the US.
  • If you’re in Wellington and want to order organic veggies grown by Frank van Steensel and Josje Neerincx of Wairarapa Eco Farms online for weekly delivery, sign up at www.simplygoodfood.co.nz.
  • If you want to learn to cook creatively with them, make Maria Pia de Razza-Klein your mentor.
  • Or if you just want to experience them at their best, eat at her trattoria (Maria Pia’s, 55-57 Mulgrave Street, Wellington, phone 04.499.5590).

Lazy veggies: Perennial Vegetables

Posted 07 August 2009 | By | Categories: Books | Comments Off on Lazy veggies: Perennial Vegetables

perennialvegetablesExcited to read Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier after reading Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools review. This is how I want to be growing:

In the gardens of paradise, all the vegetables would be perennial. No endless replanting. Just keep picking year after year. Like fruits and nuts. On earth there are more of these heavenly plants than you might think. This book rounds ’em up, with terrifically informative summaries, clear photos, and useful hints. A few of these recurring veggies are familiar — asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes — but most are exotics, so eating/cooking suggestions are given as well. I am a lazy gardener who favors perennials in our landscape garden, so I am inclined to be lazy in the food garden as well. But besides laziness, this is a great culinary adventure — all kinds of Andean root crops I’ve never hear of, and bean trees, and bush spinach — oh my! One hundred new friends. As a bonus the author takes the long-view and makes suggestions about promising varieties that amateurs could breed into better perennials. This is a fabulous book.

Windowfarms NYC

Windowfarms NYC

Posted 19 April 2009 | By | Categories: Art, Container Gardening, Vegetables | Comments Off on Windowfarms NYC


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Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray have set out to start a window farms craze in NYC. They are creating several different designs for suspended, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield light-augmented window farms using low-impact or recycled local materials. They are calling for participants to build a window farm and grow your own food at home in a collaborative design project.http://windowfarms.org/

This project fits within a larger context of their collaborative work: “crowdsourced R&Diy solutions for environmental issues. Our inspiration for community involvement derives from concepts of local production (think of the coming network of 3D multi-material printers), mass customization, and crowdsourcing. We envision the DIY aspect, not as a nostalgia-inducing hobby or a compromise during hard financial times, but as a futuristic infrastructure-light alternative to big R&D. Instead of waiting for products and services to be developed by industry, local social networks develop solutions for themselves by dividing scientists’ breakthrough findings into actionable local steps.”

Crowdsourcing local solutions to environmental problems. Wikis and instructables aren’t enough – develop tools to help people build on what other have started.